What to Expect When You Immigrate to Canada

Canada is a wonderful place to live. There are many things you will experience here and certain realities you will need to consider to get settled when you arrive.

Settlement Services

There are several service organizations that exist to help you settle into life in Canada. They can help you with all aspects of your new life from finding a home and a job to registering your children for school. You can search for immigrant services in your area on the Government of Canada website.

Working in Canada

You will need a Social Insurance Number (SIN) to get a job in Canada, and you can apply for one through the government. If you work in certain specialized fields, you will need to have your credentials officially recognized before you can obtain work (for example, if you are a doctor), but most jobs will not require this process.

Cost of Living

Canada operates under a free market economy. The currency is the Canadian dollar. The cost of living varies depending on where you choose to live. Large cities like Toronto offer a lot of jobs and convenient transportation options, but it is also more expensive to live there. There are many communities surrounding urban centres or in rural regions that are more affordable, but you may need a vehicle to move about as there is less public transportation.


You may choose to rent a home or apartment when you first arrive. You may want to choose a location that is near to your job if you have one, and also near to public transportation routes. Buying a home is also an option if you already know where you want to settle.

Schools & Education

All children have the opportunity to attend school. At younger ages this is referred to as elementary or middle school, and in the teenage years it is known as high school. There are also opportunities to attend college or university in every province.


Canada is a land of extremes when it comes to the weather. We are best known for our cold winters where the temperatures are often below freezing and snow is to be expected. Winter runs from late December to late March, but the cold weather can begin as early as November and last until March or April. Summers, however, are often quite hot in Ontario and in other places. Atlantic Canada is more temperate in the summer.

Living in Canada

Canada has numerous forests, lakes, and rivers in our provincial and national parks. We also have museums, art galleries, theatres, festivals and other cultural venues and events in our cities and towns. Families and individuals can enjoy seasonal and recreational activities such as skiing, playing hockey, tobogganing and ice skating in the winter, and camping, fishing, and playing soccer in the summer.